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 2012-03-25 06:12 pm Back to NEWS
King Cobra at his best! — Or “How President Sata talked down to Zambians living in Botswana”
Zambian President Michael Sata (left, in grey suit) in Gaborone, Botswana, on 20.03.2012 with Minister of Information Given Lubinda (centre, in dark suit and red striped tie) and President of Botswana Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama (right, in dark suit and blue striped tie).

The following is what transpired at a meeting between Zambians living in Botswana and President Michael Sata when they met on 20 March 2012 in Gaborone, Botswana, where the Zambian president had been invited to officiate at the opening of a school:

  • 18:30 — Arrival of the president Michael Sata and his entourage.

  • 18:35 — National anthem, chaired by ZACOBO (Zambian Community in Botswana).

  • 18:40 Speech by Ambassador to Botswana; within seconds, Sata interrupts and says: “How do you deliver a speech before praying, when you a son of a Bishop?” Bishop prays…

  • 18:50 Speech by chairman of ZACOBO. Among other things, he mentions of PF and UPND having walked out of Parliament in order to ensure that the (new) constitution was not passed during ex-president Rupiah Banda’s days, and also complains of Kaponyas at Kazungula Border and all bus stations, also said all buildings need painting in Lusaka; and then invites the President … (This speech might have made the politicians upset).

  • 19:00 Given Lubinda (Minister of Information) steps in before Sata and could be vividly seen that he was very upset with the ZACOBO Chairman’s speech about the walking out of PF from Parliament, and says they did so because of the differences they had on principles, hence people should get their facts correct before making statements because some of them are MMD cadres, and also asks the Zambians (in Botswana) what investments have they made in Zambia, how much they send every month to their relatives back home? He then invites the President Michael Sata – King Cobra.

  • 19:05[King Cobra speaks] ...

    President Sata: In 1970 I was the first Zambian expatriate in United Kingdom and not Botswana, so don’t think it’s a great achievement to work in Botswana. Can I have questions now?

  • 19:10[Questions] … “What's the status of the dual citizenship?”

    Sata: Which town are you from? Monze? Do you want to belong to Monze and Namwala? Because RB was from Gwanda in Zimbabwe that’s why he wanted dual citizenship.

  • [Question]: “It is difficult for us living in Diaspora to get land back home, what is the government doing about it?”

    Sata: What are you doing in Botswana?

    [Answer]: “I am a teacher.”

    Sata: Go back to Zambia and teach your relatives, then you will get land!

  • [Question]: “Mr President, you never consulted on the Ithezhi-tezhi and Chirundu districts.”...

    Sata: Whom did you consult to come to Botswana?

  • 19:25 — [Concluding remarks]

    President Sata: All of you who are here with fake questions, I’m very disappointed with you and embarrassed, are you not even ashamed of yourselves? You ran away from Zambia and thought we couldn’t find you and now today we have caught you. You are refugees in Botswana being exploited by the Botswana government. You left Zambia to come and work here for an extra K1? Teachers, you are busy educating Tswanas, leaving your own relatives in Zambia uneducated and you are proud? All of you were educated by your parents who never even finished Standard 7 and struggled to educate you and you run away from them? Doctors, your relatives are dying in Zambia you are busy saving Tswana lives? Accountants, Botswana has only 5 shops and you call yourself an accountant? When diamond mines want a consultant they will call a South African and not a Zambian, what are you still doing here? Enginneers, there are no potholes in Botswana and President Khama has told me that Zambian Engineers designed the roads, when you go to Petauke and Katete there are so many potholes where the same engineers come from, are you not ashamed of yourselves? Some of your relatives in the villages have never seen a tarred road and you are busy designing Botswana roads? No patriotism at all. Other professionals, doctors, professors etc, when I choose Grade 2 ministers, you complain some of you qualify to be MPs and others councillors, why don’t you go back to Zambia? I struggled for 10 yrs, you will also struggle to settle but once you have determination you will make it. We have about 2,000 Zambians in Botswana but tonight only 100 have attended the meeting! Imagine how Zambia was going to be developed if all of you built mansions in your villages, but you are all crying for land in Lusaka! You will never get it unless you go back to Zambia. You even boast about Diaspora, what is that? Remain there in Diaspora, you went to Diaspora with nothing and you will go back to Zambia with nothing! You complain that it takes you 3 hours at Kazungula border? I wish you take 4 years there, why should I be worried about you people who ran away from Zambia, when my people in Sesheke are not complaining about Kazungula border? I will tell the headmen (in Sesheke) to build more boats for ferrying you and not a bridge so that you spend longer hours and days! Act now because tomorrow will be too late or never comes. If you delay I will employ Chinese and Pakistanis and when you decide to go back to Zambia at your own time, the people who were in Grade 1 when you were at UNZA will be your bosses! I came to Botswana to officiate at a school which is inferior to our own St Mary’s! Anyway, I came here just to greet you. Bishop, can you pray we go?

  • 19:29 — [Meeting closed]...

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